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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Champions Online Goes Free to Play

Champions Online, Cryptic Studio’s super hero MMORPG is going free to play in early 2011. I really support this concept because the game is fun but seems to lean more towards on-and-off-again play. Personally I’ll occasionally restart my subscription and play for a month and then take a few months off. The new F2P model will be limited to two character slots and the base power sets (no customizing starting powers).

The press release is as follows.

(Los Angeles, CA) October XX, 2010 – Atari Inc., one of the world's most recognized videogame publishers, and renowned MMO developer Cryptic Studios have announced today that their superhero MMORPG, Champions Online™, will be free to play beginning Q1 2011. Players will be able to download and enjoy the game at absolutely no cost.

Champions Online free-to-play also features additional premium content for purchase. Adventure Packs, items, powers and costume pieces can be selected a la carte inside Cryptic's innovative C-Store. Additionally, current players may continue subscribing as Gold members, while new players may also optionally upgrade to Gold status, which unlocks most of the game's content and includes extra features for a set price of $14.99 per month.

"Transitioning Champions Online to the free-to-play model is a great opportunity to reach a whole new audience of PC gamers that view subscription fees as a barrier to entry," said John Needham, CEO of Cryptic Studios. "By taking care of our current subscription-based community and welcoming the addition of new players through free-to-play, Champions Online is poised to build upon its success and to establish a new leadership position as the first free-to-play superhero MMO."

Champions Online has been lauded since its launch for the customization options it gives players. The switch to free-to-play gives players even more control over their gameplay:

  • Unlimited Play Time – Play as much as you like, as long as you like, at absolutely no cost. No subscription or credit card required.
  • Your Own Hero, Your Own Story – Become a hero, encounter his or her Nemesis, and advance to maximum level at no cost.
  • Play Your Way – Utilize the optional web-based and in-game C-Store to purchase gameplay upgrades or additional premium content.

The Champions Online free-to-play closed beta test begins on November 9, 2010 and will be made available to a subset of current players, with potential openings for new users.

Champions Online brings epic heroism to the MMORPG genre with depth that challenges the most experienced online gamers, while its fast-paced action engages new entrants to the online superhero universe. Join with Defender and the legendary Champions to stop Dr. Destroyer and his minions in the ultimate showdown between good and evil.

To learn more about Champions Online Free-to-Play, please visit:

Atari group is a global creator, producer and publisher of interactive entertainment. Atari's brands and content are available across all key traditional and digital distribution touch points, including browser-based and social online platforms, PC, consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, and advanced smart phones (i.e. iPhone, Android and RIM devices).

Divisions of Atari, SA include Cryptic Studios, Eden Studios, Atari Interactive, Inc. and Atari, Inc.

Atari benefits from the strength of its worldwide brand and its extensive catalogue of contemporary classic game franchises (Asteroids®, Centipede®, Missile Command®, Lunar Lander®), original owned franchises (Test Drive®, Backyard Sports®, Deer Hunter®), MMO games from Cryptic Studios (Star Trek™ Online, Champions™) and third party franchises (Ghostbusters®, Rollercoaster Tycoon®, Dungeons and Dragons®). Atari also leverages the power of its franchises to deliver movies and merchandise to consumers around the world.

For more information please visit:
© 2010 Atari Europe SASU. All rights reserved.
Atari word mark and logo are trademarks owned by Atari Interactive, Inc.

Based in Los Gatos, CA, Cryptic Studios is a leading developer of massively multiplayer online games committed to delivering the next level of MMO gameplay. Cryptic develops AAA titles for PC and consoles, including Star Trek Online and Champions Online. For more information on Cryptic Studios, please visit the official website at: Cryptic word mark and logo are trademarks owned by Cryptic Studios, Inc.

You can find more information at on their site.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kirby's Epic Yarn, Renamed

I've been playing Kirby's Epic Yarn tonight and its allot of fun, but I can't help but think that the name needs something. Here's a few of the replacement titles I've scrounged together.
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Pantsland
  • Kirby's String Theory
  • Kirby's Complete Fabrication
  • Kirby's So-Sew Adventure
  • Kirby: Knit ware in Dreamland
  • Kirby's Canvas Calamity
  • Kirby's Loose Threads
  • Kirby's Coming Apart at the Seams
  • Yin-Yarn Strings Kirby Along
  • Kirby Can't Lose No Matter What
  • Prince Fluff's Fetch Quest
I know I missed some easy ones. Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back in Action

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates, but it’s been busy here at I re-did every single review, cataloging them and fixing their myriad formatting and typing errors.  I’ve also cleaned up all of the ‘junk’ on the pages and made them more browser and search-engine friendly. As I bonus I streamlined the review creation  process, so I can get more reviews up more easily. My latest reviews are for The Guild 2 Renaissance and NBA 2K11 – two games at totally opposite ends of the quality spectrum.

You may notice that advertisements have been placed on the site. I decided that I can only run as a charity for so long, and it’s been running at a loss since it’s inception. It’s cost me just about  $1,000 to keep this site up and running since I leased the domain in 2004, so even a dollar here and there will help.

Now, don’t think is in danger. The site is still I safe and sound hands and I’m perfectly capable of keeping the site online as it stands. However, any ad revenue I receive would go towards the hosting fee, or if that’s already covered for the period, another game to review.

Donations are also welcome, but I’m not going to post a link or button asking for donations at this time. I don’t think it looks good on a small site like mine. It tends to give off whiff of desperation, in my mind. One may one day appear, but not as it stands. If you wish to make a donation, contact me directly and I will help arrange it.

In any case, enjoy the upgrade to and let me know if you have any comments or opinions. Later, all.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Minecraft Craziness

javaw 2010-10-02 10-11-22-52

Like seemingly half of the gaming community these days, I’m playing Minecraft. This seemingly simple game has incredible depth and potential. You start with your bare hands and nothing but wild spaces around you. After harvesting some raw materials and building some basic amenities, you need to put up shelter for the night. Why? Because if you don’t you’re not going to see the morning.

Monsters come out at night, ranging from the mundane spiders and zombies to the arrow-shooting skeletons and the exploding creepers (seen above – he’s the green guy). It’s wise to be indoors somewhere when the sun falls, but without light to chase the shadows from your borough, monsters will spawn there too. So you build torches, and you begin to see the depth this game has. You can dig into the earth with your pick axes (keep a couple at all times, because they break) looking for rare minerals or random caves, you can build amazing structures around the landscape out of stone, brick, wood, glass or whatever else you dig up or make, or you can make a farm with food and animals to live on and just be a homebody.

javaw 2010-10-02 09-28-36-22

If I had to leverage a complaint right now, it would be that it’s too easy to  lose your shelter in the wilderness early on. I had a nice three story cave home in my first game that I lost track of while trying to find food and leather. I never did find it again, actually. Also, the game can eat up memory like no one’s business, which can lead to crashes.

The game has a lovely 3D 8-bit look that belies it’s amazing depth. If you’ve got any mind at all for creativity, this is something you have to try.